Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

Dangerous chicken satay

Dips. I am in love with dips. Creamy, spicy, barbecued, sweet, hummous-y – there is hardly a Saturday night that goes past when I haven’t fashioned a dip out of something.

You know the way you get a little tub of dip when you buy a pizza from Dominos? Whoever thought of that one should have been given a pay rise and framed picture as ‘Employee of the Year.’ It’s genius. Realistically, it’s not the best dip you’ll ever taste but it’s enough lubricant that it takes the blander pizza crusts to the next level.

But it’s a double edged sword that dip too. It means, in our house at least, that there are fewer crusts for the aul boy to chew on when the off-spring are finished munching and dipping.

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Still, I’ll not hear a bad word against dips. After beer, spicy-crispy things and decent music, dips are probably my favourite Saturday night treat – especially when they’re home-made and irresistible.

You may or may not be a Strictly Come Dancing fan (I know I used to complain loudly and at length about it), but it’s big news in the Devlin household. Our eldest especially goes all high-pitched and bouncy at the mere echo of the intro music. Consequently, Saturday night at this time of the year finds us huddled around the telly with Strictly glittering away and me ferrying a plethora of nibbles and dip in and out of the living room.

‘Domesticity’ is the word, and whilst the fayre on the box can be cheesy, the lubricated nibbles are enough to keep a big toothy (and often stupid) grin on my face.

The main part of last Saturday night’s platter was chicken satay. The marinated chicken, slightly charred under the grill and then dipped cavalier-like into an unctuous, deep and dangerously moreish sauce makes you feel like King of the Weekend.

If you’re feeling like the Lazy King (or Queen) of the weekend, you can just make this sauce and it’ll go down well with sliced bell peppers, crackers, crisps and even shop-bought chicken on skewers. You could even eat it with a spoon. However for max effect, I recommend going the whole hog. If you’re going down this route you’ll also need metal skewers or wooden ones soaked in water for at least an hour.

INGREDIENTS
500G of chicken (thighs or breast) chopped into chunks
1 garlic clove, grated
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of honey
SAUCE
tbsp of sesame oil
tbsp of vegetable oil
small onion, finely chopped
clove of garlic, grated
150g of smooth peanut butter
tsp of honey
tin of coconut milk (full fat)
tsp of sweet chilli sauce
tsp of fish sauce
soy sauce and lime juice (to taste)

THE PLAN
The only finicky bit here is the marinating and then skewering of the chicken. Start by heeling all of the marinating ingredients into a large bowl and combining. To this, add the chopped chicken, mix well and then stick a covering of clingy on and retire to the fridge. This’ll do well with at least two hours in the cooler.

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As that’s happening, make the dipping sauce, or as I like to call it, ‘that fuppen deadly dipping sauce.’

Heat the oil in a pan and add to that the grated onion, sweat over a low heat for five minutes, then add the garlic and cook out for three minutes more. Do not allow to brown. If that starts to happen, add a small dash of water and continue stirring.

Add the peanut butter (I use Whole Earth Smooth) and honey and stir through until everything is combined.

Add the coconut milk and whisk through and then add in the sweet chilli, fish sauce… keep it simmering until it thickens (this may take a while), stirring frequently.

Check the seasoning and if needs be some soy sauce. Finish with a squirt of lime.

Using a hand blender, blitz until totally smooth and that’s it. Decant to a bowl and cover.

To cook the chicken, thread the chicken onto skewers and then blast under a medium grill for about 20 minutes altogether, turning now and again so they’re evenly cooked and not too charred.

Pile everything onto a serving plate, top with some spring onions and… happy dipping!

DANGER WARNING: You will eat too much of that sauce.

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